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Promoting your work

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments I hope I'm not repeating anything anyone else has said here, but promoting your work nowadays is no easy task. I blogged about it today: http://lauracea.blogspot.com. If anyone can add any help with ideas I'd love to hear from you.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Totally true, Sue! It's def not the easiest thing to do. But, for anyone who's reading this let me just add ... Sue's book "Perfect score" is a must-read! :) I've read it and I like it a lot!

Kind regards,
Loraine


message 3: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments Susan wrote: "I hope I'm not repeating anything anyone else has said here, but promoting your work nowadays is no easy task. I blogged about it today: http://lauracea.blogspot.com. If anyone can add any help wit..."
Hi Susan - I couldn't agree with you more. My novel was released a few weeks ago and I've been in the midst of an ongoing education every since! Social media has taken over my life! I just tried to read your blog but there seems to be a problem with the site. Any suggestions?


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Patricia wrote: "Susan wrote: "I hope I'm not repeating anything anyone else has said here, but promoting your work nowadays is no easy task. I blogged about it today: http://lauracea.blogspot.com. If anyone can ad..."

Hi Patricia - I've Tiny Url'd it! See if that works any better.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Loraine wrote: "Totally true, Sue! It's def not the easiest thing to do. But, for anyone who's reading this let me just add ... Sue's book "Perfect score" is a must-read! :) I've read it and I like it a lot!

K..."


You're so sweet, Loraine (the next - but better - Stephanie Meyer! I've been out all day (damn real life) and I'm sitting at my computer for the first time, checking emails and then... REVIEW!


message 6: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments Hi again - still not working - is anyone else having a problem with it?


message 7: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I've not been able to see either. I think it said something about maintenance.


message 8: by J. (last edited Oct 23, 2010 07:35PM) (new)

J. Guevara (jguevara) | 14 comments All the promo in town ain't gonna do diddly; if you don't have distribution you ain't gonna sell squat. For starters, do whatever it takes to get in Ingrams catalog. Next, if you're on amazon, pay the $32 for the premium listing. Sell blood if you must, but go after distribution. Be careful, though, that field is covered in landmines.
Get a web site. Too expensive? Go to India; mine cost $250. Same for book layout/cover/design formatting. AND editing, go to India. Nuance may be a problem -- you can correct that -- but they know English grammar inside-out. My editing guru is a knit-picking pain in the ass; just what I need. Plus, she's got great curry recipes.
Don't do give-away contests. if you want to give it away, be smart; give it to readers whom you know are into your genre, not someone looking for a free book to put on their shelve just to make people think they have good taste. Sorry Charlie...
If you're going to market, market to readers; writers don't buy books. FB has several reader sites. One with 250,000 members. Or, search one for your genre. Target marketing. However, warning: they're sick of hearing from self-pubbers about, "How great there crappy novel is..." (especially on GR, btw) Introduce yourself and join the conversations. Make friends, they'll buy, relax. Readers buy authors more than they buy novels.
Get your reviews from legit, professional reviewers. American Chronicles or Readers Favorite for example. On GR, the only one I'd recommend is Giovanni; he actually reads it first, and readers actually buy on his recommendation. These typical 'I-never-read-a-book-that-wasn't-about-me' reviews can do you no good, BUT can do you harm. Good or bad, it goes out on Google Search. Seventeen 5*'s can be wiped out with one 1*. And NEVER pay or swap reviews. One is unethical, the other is spotted in a minute by sophisticated readers (the one's you really want).
Also, if you pay anyone to provide 250,000 press releases, you deserve to get ripped off. First, few of 'em even know how to write a press release, and second, NOOOOOOO newspaper/mag reviews self-pubbed novels. Can you blame them when even Jerry (whats hisname?, the owner of scribed.com, says in an interview, "I publish 10's of 1000' of self-pubbed books a year; 99% are crap, especially the poetry."
Generally, paying for marketing service is a waste of money you don't have. There are some good one's; here's how you weed 'em out: Offer to pay double out of the royalties from your increased sales. If they're as good as they claim, they'd be stupid not to take you up on it. If not, don't you be stupid.
In the end, however, nothing beats the marketing/distribution power of a goddamn good book that everyone simply must tell they're friends about; and, ideally, it's so good they won't loan it. :):)
j
www.jguevaranovels.com

(All the sharks are not in the ocean.)


message 9: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments J,

A lot of your points are valid. I agree that marketing should be tailored toward readers. However, many writers support other writers. After all, most writers are also readers. But again, marketing isn't the way to get your work in front of another writer (in my opinion). If you have a relationship with another writer, he/she might take it upon him/herself to read your work without you begging. :) I've taken a chance on a couple of authors just because I've had great conversations and want to see what they're doing. Writers recommending writers is an awesome boon.

I might ask what $250 worth of a website includes. Do you mean having someone design your website for you?


message 10: by J. (new)

J. Guevara (jguevara) | 14 comments Granted, recognition from your peers is the ultimate compliment; most encouraging, but it doesn't feed my seven cereal killers. :)
Check it out. That is what $250 gets you. All of it. All I did was write the copy and send the pics. He put it together.(Another tip: If you've never done it before, don't write your own copy; it sucks. Copy is not the same thing as normal writing. It's a completely different technique.) Plus, I paid him off months ago, and he still sleeps on my doorstep, tweaking my site constantly. He calls it "our site". Try getting a $4000 Yank to add or change anything without asking, or adding it to the bill. I'm a total comp illiterate when it comes to anything beyond using it as a fancy typewriter. I didn't know beans about websites. Sumeet at code-pal (link lower right), took me through the whole process step-by-step. He even took care of the domain name and the the web host (dah, what's dat?) whats their name? Go Mama, somthin' like that. It helps, too, if you know a little Hindi.
Namaste, didi,
j


message 11: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments j wrote: "All the promo in town ain't gonna do diddly; if you don't have distribution you ain't gonna sell squat. For starters, do whatever it takes to get in Ingrams catalog. Next, if you're on amazon, pay ..."

Lots to think about there. To which Giovanni do you refer?


message 12: by J. (new)

J. Guevara (jguevara) | 14 comments Giovanni Gelati


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael C. (MichaelCGreer) | 2 comments J, Good Lord you are straight forward funny! I owe you a beer for making me laugh so hard.
I think you're right about most of what you said:
) Pay the Amazon fee
) Pay the Createspace premium fee
) Get a website
To add to the discussion, I think that new authors should spend some time with Social Media GR/FB/Twitter, but with a word of caution as it can become a time vampire. I eventually offloaded the general upkeep of the site to my wife, and I pop in about once a week. What the big authors have that we don't is, among other things, a team of people to oversee every aspect of their marketing and distribution.
I also feel that a writer should spend as much of their time writing.
Susan, good luck!


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments J - I just learned more from you than from weeks trawling the internet. Problem is, I'm not self-published. My publishers do send it out to many places but I'm expected to have some kind of platform. I didn't know that FB had a readers' section. I'll check it out.
Thanks for your best wishes, Michael. You too!


message 15: by John (new)

John Cicero | 71 comments Mod
Awesome thread here guys. Thanks for contributing. All good stuff to absorb.

John


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments I'm quite a self-effacing person and "pimping" my novel doesn't come naturally. What are your thoughts about advertising your reviews? And where?
Sue


message 17: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I think advertising reviews are awesome! FB, Twitter, on your website. Unlike the tweets which say something like: "My book is available on [fill in blank], check it out!" which I tend to overlook because every author wants folks to buy their books. I consider review tweets to be in a special category. Sure it's advertising, but it's a subtle way of "pimping" a work because it adds validation.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments True, Reena - it's subtle :-)


message 19: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments Michael wrote: "J, Good Lord you are straight forward funny! I owe you a beer for making me laugh so hard.
I think you're right about most of what you said:
) Pay the Amazon fee
) Pay the Createspace premium..."


Michael - so true - you can get caught up in all of this 'stuff' to the point there's little time left to write. There's a balance somewhere ... just have to find it!


message 20: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments Reena wrote: "I think advertising reviews are awesome! FB, Twitter, on your website. Unlike the tweets which say something like: "My book is available on [fill in blank], check it out!" which I tend to overlook ..."

Susan wrote: "I'm quite a self-effacing person and "pimping" my novel doesn't come naturally. What are your thoughts about advertising your reviews? And where?
Sue"


Would you mind writing more about advertising your reviews? Thanks!


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Patricia, you asked me to write more about advertising my reviews?

Advertising my reviews? Well...(she blushes): Rainbow Reviews gave me 4.5 stars and said they'd never read such a good ending to a romance book (coo what a boast); I got 5 stars on GoodReads!; 3.5 stars on Literary Nymphs Reviews.

Is that advertising my reviews? I guess it is.
Sue


message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie Weinstein (julieannw) | 4 comments Hi Everyone,
I write magic realism style prose. I have a new book, Flashes from the Other World (All Things That Matter Press).

Julie Weinstein

Magic without the hocus pocus, these
stories explore the ethereal blur between
reality and not, between dream and sleep,
between love and other than love. They
present relationships with a tender
wackiness. Tossed into the mix are
mischievous ghosts, who give the talking
plants and even the seductive and vocal
grains of sand a run for their money.
Quirky and offbeat, these stories will
touch your heart, although they may tug at
your funny bone first. Flashes from the Other World by Julie Ann Weinstein


message 23: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Sands (patriciasands) | 20 comments Susan wrote: "Patricia, you asked me to write more about advertising my reviews?

Advertising my reviews? Well...(she blushes): Rainbow Reviews gave me 4.5 stars and said they'd never read such a good ending to ..."

Well good for you! If no one asks it's sometimes awkward to spread the word. Just thought I'd give you the opportunity! Write on.


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Patricia wrote: "Susan wrote: "Patricia, you asked me to write more about advertising my reviews?

Advertising my reviews? Well...(she blushes): Rainbow Reviews gave me 4.5 stars and said they'd never read such a g..."


Thank you Patricia. I'm doing my best :-)


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Achterhoff (erthwkr) | 1 comments My fourth book, and first self-published book is now available. Titled Earthwalker- Earth can be Hell for a VAMPIRE, it is about a troubled woman who seeks solace in the mountains, where she finds a wounded man who crashed his spaceship on Earth near where she is camping. She is frightened, but feels compelled to help him anyway. This is just the beginning of a very different kind of vampire story, as the two of them face enormous challenges in this action-packed thriller.
You can buy it free of shipping costs at http://www.julieachterhoff.tk


message 26: by Paula (new)

Paula  Phillips (thephantomparagrapher) | 10 comments Hi all , My name is Paula Phillips and I work by day as a Librarian and by night and in the weekends in between study , I run a book review website called The Phantom Paragrapher. I review all genres and read all books from children’s to adults. My site is what some would call an Eclectic mix and I do like variety. If you have a book that you would like reviewed – I accept both Print and EBooks, or want a bit of promotion for a new release or event, how about an author interview or guest post? If this interests you, send me an email to Paulazone@live.com and check out my site www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com.


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments There's some good points in this thread.
Now, I have another question, hehe...

I'm new to all this promoting and marketing and every day I seem to learn a new word. Now it's "blog-hop". Has anyone used this as a form of promotion and, if so, did it work?


message 28: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I don't know how successful blog-hops are, but as far as increasing followers to blogs, getting together with a group of folks (Blogmania, Blogfest, and Fall Giveaway) is effective. I participated in the Fall Giveaway and more than doubled my followers. Do they come back after the giveaway ends? Some do.

I had my own giveaway before the Fall Giveaway started. I started with 50 followers, which almost doubled after my personal giveaway ended. Before the giveaway, the stats showed my visitors to be in 5-15/day. The Fall Giveaway started the next day with me just under 100 followers. By the end, I had about 240 followers. Now that the excitement of the giveaway has ended, I receive 40-70 visitors per day.

I think one of the things which helps with the group giveaways is the urgency. Visit X number of blogs in X days. I don't think blog hops have the same kind of urgency, but I imagine a blogger might have a higher percentage of the readers who are prone to stick around and visit more often after joining, since they're not motivated by free stuff.


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Reena, you have no idea how much that's helped me. I'm indebted. Thank you.
Sue


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree, Reena. I participated in the Spooktacular Book Blog Giveaway Hop with over 80 other book blogs and I went from about 45 followers to over 160 right now. Like you said, will they come back? I think it depends on how interesting you keep your blog going. Probably how many giveaways you have too :)


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Guest-blogging seems to go well. I did one today: http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.b...
and I'm giving a free book away in a competition (at the end). Let's see how that works.

The reviews you can get on this site work well too:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/94...
That Susan isn't me, btw!


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (westofmars) | 19 comments I guest blogged yesterday at Pudgy Penguin Perusals (http://kayespenguinposts.blogspot.com...) and last Friday at Diary of an Eccentric (http://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.c...).

I love doing this stuff. Best of all, yesterday began a charity drive I'm doing, where at least 50% of my royalties in November and December will be donated to a music-in-the-schools charity, helping make band geeks and orchestra dweebs all over the United States. I hope you guys will get involved so one day, kids of all income levels can say, "This one time, at Band Camp..."

Here's the link to the contest page: http://westofmars.com/west-of-mars/co...

--Susan at West of Mars


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Great posts Susan and a wonderful cause.
Sue


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Speaking of promoting, between now and Nov. 6th, I'm hosting a contest to WIN 1 of 5 free signed copies of INSURRECTION the 2nd book in the fantasy series, ALLON.

Sign up for Allon Books newsletter and be automatically entered to win. Also receive the latest news updates, events, promotions, contests and alerts for upcoming releases in the series.

http://www.allonbooks.com


message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Mauro (pmauro2000) | 8 comments I'm promoting my book as well on another author's blog. Leave a comment on the blog and be entered for a free book giveaway. Here is the link:

http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.blogspo...


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments We're all beavering away, aren't we? I've also been doing these promoting books on other blogs and also giving free books giveaway. Do you think they boost sales?
Sue


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (westofmars) | 19 comments Hard to say, Sue. I think that, indirectly, they do. We're creating demand. It's got to be filled one way or another.

Here's a give for my books:
http://shaunesay.blogspot.com/2010/11...

And here's what author Darcia Helle has cooked up. I don't remember how many books she's giving away, but the number is huge: http://www.quietfurybooks.com/holiday...

Also, I've gotten a few donations to anyone who already has my books but wants to participate in my own holiday give (at least 50% of my reported royalties in Nov/Dec are headed to charity). Here's the link to mine: http://westofmars.com/west-of-mars/co...


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Sue, in answer to your question about boosting sales, I can say, yes. At several book festivals and conventions I've attended this year, I talked to people who either heard of me and/or my book due to word of mouth. Some read a reviewer (who get a comp copy) and picked up the book. Others from people I sent a free copy to for other reason than a review.

If not for those encounters, I'd be wondering the same about the effectiveness of giving away books. Writing YA, I also donated to local middle schools and my city library.


message 39: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I want to share an indie writer with you folks. Susan Bischoff, author of Hush Money. I just finished her YA novella last week. It was awesome. My review here: http://reenajacobs.com/blog/2010/11/n... I only have a few reads on my best in 2010. This one made it. And it's inexpensive ($0.99).


I'll add my erotic short story to the plug. Control Freak: Brandon's Story.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
A risk free read if you use the coupon code. Please leave a review. :)
Coupon code for 100% [expires 11/22/2010] GW32H


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Thanks for the answers about guest-blogging and giveaways (I'll go and check those out, because I like them :-) )
I'm trying for reviews mostly. I've had some good ones (and these review sites are good if you haven't tried them) 3.5 stars from Literary Nymphs, 4.5 stars from Rainbow Reviews and 5 stars (plus "Top Pick" award) from The Romance Reviews. And today I got this one:
http://lauracea.blogspot.com/2010/11/...
Happy dance! Well, if I can't tell you, who can I tell? Anyone else got any sites that accept submissions for reviews?
Sue


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Beau_angelnzmsn.com wrote: "Hi all , My name is Paula Phillips and I work by day as a Librarian and by night and in the weekends in between study , I run a book review website called The Phantom Paragrapher. I review all genr..."

Paula, that's the most eclectic review site I've seen for a long time. I dropped you an email regarding reviews. -Chaz


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